Vietnam to give everything for the Malaysia clash, says coach Park Hang-seo

Thursday, 2021-06-10 21:48:32
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Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo speaks during the Thursday press conference ahead of their June 11 clash with Malaysia.
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NDO – Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo has affirmed that his side will deliver the highest level of focus for the penultimate clash against Malaysia in the second round of the 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers.

The Golden Star Warriors will head into the survival game with the Malayan Tigers tomorrow night (June 11) knowing that a victory will give them a solid chance of securing their maiden progression into the last round of the World Cup qualifying campaign.

“I myself and the players are fully aware of the importance of the Malaysia clash. Therefore, we are trying to help the players maintain their maximum mental and physical fitness and best prepare for the game,” Park said during a pre-match press conference at Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, UAE on Thursday.

“I don’t want to put pressure on the players. I just want them to play coldly against Malaysia, and believe that they will perform well,” he added.

In their first-leg meeting at Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium in October 2019, Vietnam edged past Malaysia 1-0 thanks to a superb goal from midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai. It was also the third victory for Park’s troops against the Malayan Tigers in the four meetings between them since Park took charge of the Vietnamese team in 2017. The remaining match ended up in a draw.

However, during the time when the World Cup qualifying campaign was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malaysian team made some changes to their squad, with the addition of three naturalised players – Liridon Krasniqi, Guilherme de Paula, and Mohamadou Sumareh.

Commenting on this, the Korean coach said: “In fact, in the first leg, Malaysia had a naturalised player. Now, they have three more, including number 5, number 16 and a goalkeeper. Thus, they have a total of four naturalised players. I think the naturalisation of players, especially strikers, will help a lot for their tactics.”

After Malaysia, Vietnam will face another tough challenge, hosts UAE, in the last group game on June 15. When asked about how Vietnam have been preparing for the match, Park emphasised: “Actually we can’t think of the UAE match right now. All we want is to focus on the match against Malaysia. Both the coaching staff and the players have to best prepare for tomorrow’s game.”

Addressing the press conference, midfielder Luong Xuan Truong said it will be another tough match for Vietnam, but they will play cautiously and wait for opportunities.

Following an amazing unbeaten run (four wins and two draws), Vietnam are currently sitting on the top of Group G with 14 points, two clear of the UAE and leading Thailand and Malaysia by five points. Tomorrow’s meeting will be of great significance to both Vietnam and Malaysia in their bid for a historic slot in the last round of the World Cup qualifiers.

Park Hang-seo's side are holding a two-point lead at the top of Group G.